House advances Rep. Ortiz’s bill to invest in jobs training and entrepreneurship grants for formerly incarcerated individuals
DENVER, CO — The House today passed a bill on second reading to expand the existing Justice Reinvestment Crime Prevention Initiative, which creates jobs by helping formerly incarcerated individuals learn finance skills and start a business. This bill is part of the Colorado Comeback state stimulus, a package of legislation that will invest roughly $800 million into helping Colorado recover faster and build back stronger.
“Working to build back a stronger Colorado means creating an economy that truly leaves no one behind,” said Rep. David Ortiz, D-Littleton. “The Justice Reinvestment Crime Prevention Initiative has a track record of success, helping prevent recidivism and crime by getting to their root causes. Now, community-driven organizations in Trinidad and Grand Junction that are working to connect former inmates with jobs, boost local economies, and give folks a second chance will get a much needed boost!”
HB21-1215, also sponsored by Representative Richard Holtorf, R-Akron expands an existing pilot program known as the Community Crime Prevention Initiative that provides grants to community-based organizations to reduce crime and recidivism and promote community economic development. The program will also train formerly incarcerated people in business, finance and entrepreneurship and those who graduate from the program will receive access to loans to start their own small business.
The bipartisan bill HB17-1326 established the pilot program in North Aurora and Southeast Colorado Springs. In its first four years, over 6,000 individuals received services and 86% of participating adults did not return to incarceration, saving the state money, increasing economic security, and contributing to safer communities. HB21-1215 expands the program sites to Grand Junction and Trinidad.